Yes, very important. Because of this, this week we are going to give you some ideas to make breakfast healthy and appetising.
For this you need to have all or some of these ingredients.
*Whole food ecological cereal flakes (oats, rye, barley…)
*Sunflower or pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sultanas, nuts
*Natural yoghourt without sugar, if possible ecological
*Whole flour bread (wheat, spelt, rye)
*Extra virgin olive oil, butter
As you wake up drink a glass of warm water and have some fruit (whole or freshly pressed). By doing this, your body gets hydrated and the digestive function is stimulated.
If possible, allow 30 minutes before eating breakfast. Then, decide what you are going to have:
For instance, you can start with some yoghourt followed by bread drizzled with olive oil, some grated tomato and avocado. Occasionally, you can use butter instead of oil and add some honey or sesame seeds if you like them. You can alternate bread with a home made wholemeal cake (see recipes in our blog).
The above is a Mediterranean sort of breakfast, but you can opt for a “warmer” version such as porridge made preferably with ecological oat flakes, some sultanas, seeds and nuts. Oats are easily digested and help to alleviate constipation problems.
To drink, have a small cup of coffee, some tea or a herbal infusion.
Within this basic frame, you can introduce variations: what about some fresh cheese, a poached egg or toast with ecological jam (with little sugar)? Or still better: Introduce your own variations, personalise your breakfast and make it a work of art!
We have entered the first weeks of autumn. It is the time of year, when we need to start to internalise and build up our reserves. Eat appropriate foods to strengthen our bodies and immune systems in readiness for the winter months ahead.
Squirrels collect and hoard nuts, ants – seeds. Some birds migrate to warmer climates; others grow thicker their plumage. Trees lose their leaves to build up their nutrient reserves to survive the winter and get ready for new growth and foliage in the spring. There are changes happening throughout nature in preparation for the seasonal changes that are on the way.
We too, need to change with the season. Eat what our local environment produces naturally in the season. Wear appropriate clothing to keep warm, especially, our waists and around our necks and throats areas which frequently get affected at this time of year. Slow down our normal routine, give more time to meditation and inspirational reading and focus more on the home and family, go to bed earlier and get up later if that is possible in rhythm with the day / night light cycle.
Nature gives us the clues to the colours we need to focus on, in our food and in our clothing: oranges, yellows, reds, greens and browns. Eat and wear them and feel the difference.
This is a fairly common recipe found in many cooking books. The difference is in the quality and quantity of the ingredients. For example, we are using “panela” instead of ordinary sugar. “Panela” is sugar taken directly from the sugar cane. Because it hasn’t been refined, it conserves all its minerals and we can assimilate it better than white sugar, which is absorbed rapidly, raising our blood sugar and taking calcium out of our bones.
Sugar quantities in most recipes are quite high. In this recipe, it has been reduced from 150 to 100 grs. The additional sweetness is provided by raisins. The result is a nicer and healthier cake.
For 6/8 people
_200 grs. whole spelt or meal flour
__100 grs. “panela”
_1 Greek or natural yoghourt ((125 ml.)
_125 ml. olive oil
_50 grs. seedless raisins (sultanas)
_ A small handful crushed walnuts
_1 tsp. ground cinnamon
_1 tsp. ground or liquid vanilla
_1 tsp. sodium bicarbonate
_Grated coconut, a little jam and a few almonds to decorate
_In a bowl, whisk eggs, “panela”, oil, yoghourt, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth consistency.
_In another bowl, mix flour, sodium bicarbonate, walnuts and raisins and add to the first bowl until well mixed.
_Pour all into a suitably oiled baking tin. Decorate and place in the middle of the oven (180º) for 45 minutes.
In our climate, aubergines are finishing by the end of October. You can buy them out of season, but these are generally cultivated in greenhouses.
Aubergines are a summer vegetable (actually, a fruit!),juicy and refreshing.They are alkalizing, rich in potassium and vitamins B2 and B5. They are diuretic and mildly laxative. Before they are finished, let’s celebrate the end of summer enjoying this tasty dip.
_2 medium aubergines
_1 large garlic clove
_A small bunch of parsley
_2 or 3 tbs. of lemon juice
_2 tbs. of tahini (or 4 tbs. of ground sesame seeds)
_1 pinch of cumin powder
_Salt and pepper to taste
_ Pierce the aubergines with a fork several times. Place them in a dish with a little water and put into the oven (180%) 45 to 60 minutes, until tender.
_ Take out the pulp with a spoon and put it with the other ingredients in a blender and whisk until well emulsified.
_ Empty into a bowl and decorate with some olive oil, sweet paprika and a sprig of parsley.
_ Allow to rest for at least one hour before serving.
As always when dealing with a health issue we recommend that you look for the cause of the problem to find a satisfactory solution. If we limit ourselves to only taking medicines, with time, we are likely to aggravate the problem. This often happens when we depend on just taking medication in the case of insomnia.
If we stop to think about it we will probably see that in many cases of insomnia it is a question of a state of preoccupation, sadness or frustration from which we don’t see a way out… an altered emotional state!
In Chinese medicine, insomnia is an imbalance affecting the Heart energy. This organ houses the Shen (in western terms, the mind or spirit).If the heart is agitated or unsettled the Shen cannot rest peacefully and the person cannot rest or sleep (insomnia).
Dr. Ted J. Kapchuck writes (A Web that has no Weaver, Ed. – The March Hare) that a man who suffers from insomnia goes to visit a western doctor. He will find nothing abnormal and probably prescribe a sleeping pill. After a while the same man visits an oriental doctor who will examine him and confirm a diagnosis. The treatment will consist of using several acupuncture points and a prescription for a medicinal herb (Euphoria Longana). Following various sessions the problem is resolved and at no stage has the patient received any sedative to allow him to sleep.
The points in Chinese Medicine for insomnia correspond to energetic channels that connect with organs like the heart, the stomach, the liver and kidneys among others. The effect of using those points would be, in Western terms, to strengthen the Nervous System on the one part and the functions of digestion and assimilation of nutrients on the other.
Shiatsu, whose principles are based on those of Chinese Medicine, is an excellent remedy for insomnia for its calming and balancing effects and it can help us get to the root of the problem, which is necessary if we want to resolve it.
As a self help remedy, from Peter Deadman´s book (A Manual of Acupuncture. 1988, Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications) a recipe that is used in nearly all of China for insomnia: – every night before going to bed to sleep, massage point no. 1 on the Kidney energy channel on both feet (see the photo at beginning of this article) and soak your feet for a while in hot water to reduce excess yang in your body: Sweet dreams!
Autumn is just around the corner and we thought it would be a good idea to look at some simple ways to prevent one of the more common afflictions that occur at this time of year.
Throat irritations are an indication of a breakdown of our immune system which may be due to excess exposure to cold, .damp, tobacco smoke or other fumes but also a diet deficient in adequate or insufficient nutrients, stress, excessive or inadequate use of the voice, including held in emotional tension (anger, frustration etc.). In addition, if we have had tonsil or adenoid problems / operations as a child the tissue linings of the throat may be excessively sensitive. Whatever the cause our objective is to prevent or overcome the symptoms. How? Here are some suggestions:
Obviously, avoid unnecessary exposure to excessive cold and humidity. It is relatively common to see people even in mid – winter with an exposed waist area. This is often the cause of sudden backache colds and flu, coughs and throat irritations. In Chinese Medicine the Kidneys are recognised as very precious and delicate organs and need to be well cared for if we are to have a long and healthy life. Keep the waist wrapped up and warm and if you have a sensitive throat area protect it with a silk scarf, you will feel the difference.
Nutritionally make sure you have an abundance of fruit and vegetables (oranges grapefruit, lemons, carrots, parsley, broccoli, kiwis etc.) rich in vitamins C and A. An ideal remedy for the throat is fresh carrot juice made in a juicer and drunk straight after making. You can add some celery, apple or parsley to taste and if necessary dilute it with water. It should be drunk slowly, chewing and tasting it to allow the digestive components in the saliva to react with it. Carrots contain one of the highest levels of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which your body uses as it requires it. It is essential for the healthy maintenance of the mucous membranes and is particularly important for the throat. The majority of people should be able to drink at least one glass of carrot juice a day, however if you are diabetic check your sugar levels.
Finally, Shiatsu can help restore emotional stability and also strengthen the immune system until the time your throat irritations become a thing of the past.
This salad is a complete meal in itself: lentils contain high levels of vegetable protein and iron. They are prepared with typical Mediterranean products which add flavour and texture to the robust lentils and complement it’s nutritional value with vitamins, calcium, anti-oxidants ( e.g. lycopene ) etc. A satisfying dish that’s not heavy and ideal for summer days.
For 3 to 4 persons you need:
– 300 hundred g Puy lentils
– 150 g. sliced roasted red peppers
– 6 – 8 drained and chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes *
– 2-3 lemons juiced
– 1 red onion
– 1 pkt. of mozzarella or other fresh cheese
– 1 handful basil and/or coriander leaves
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Salt and pepper
*We recommend that the tomato conserve is of Italian origin as the local Spanish ones tend to be of an inferior quality. Some Italian brands are very expensive but you can now get some at a reasonable cost in some of the bigger supermarkets.
-Wash and soak the lentils in water for about two hours, (in this way they should cook in about 20 minutes), and cook until tender but not mushy.
-In the meantime cut the onion into thin slices and marinate in a bowl with the lemon juice and prepare the other ingredients cut or torn into smaller pieces.
-When the lentils are done drain them and add them to the onions and lemon juice and stir in the other ingredients. Add olive oil salt and pepper to taste.
-Place some lettuce leaves on a plate and top with the lentil mixture.
Decorate as desired and serve.
Easy to make and delicious to eat.
Today we are giving you one of our preferred recipes. As you can see, all the ingredients are natural and healthy. We hope you like it.
120 ml. olive oil ( approx. one cup )
80 gms. sugar ( ideally panela )
Mix together to a smooth thick consistency
120 gms. ground almonds
80 gms. whole wheat flour
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon + a heaped tablespoon of sultanas.
Mix (A) and (B) together ensuring all ingredients are well integrated and pour the thick mass into a flat baking tin ( 26 / 28cm. diameter ). Decorate the top with split or whole almonds and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for 20 to 30 minutes.
Proper elimination is vital to the health of every organ, tissue and cell in the body, and yet we tend to give very little attention to this important process. The four organs responsible for elimination are: the lungs, skin, kidneys and colon.
The lungs to function optimally need to have some form of vigorous exercise, enough to cause deep breathing on a regular basis. Proper posture is also very important so that the lungs capacities are not restricted or obstructed. It is well known that the muscles involved in proper posture are not naturally maintained in proper tonicity. Good posture requires attention and habitual practice.
The skin removes wastes and toxins by sweating and it is important that we keep it hydrated, supple and clean so that it can function effectively. The skin not only gets rid of wastes but also absorbs many substances in which it is in contact, into the body. In our day to day activities we need to keep this in mind.
Periodic towel rubs, bodywork, shiatsu, massage etc. all help to keep the skin toned and functioning optimally.
The kidneys require their two litres of water every day to ensure the effective flushing out of all wastes and toxins and we need to help by not overburden them with excessive consumption of alcohol and sugary / carbonated drinks.
The colon needs roughage (fibre) in the food we eat to remove waste and toxins. Raw foods in the form of salads are generally the best for this. We should try to ensure that we do not go through a twenty – four hour period without going to the toilet .If it is necessary to use a laxative or colonic it should be only occasionally. Adequate water intake, exercise and regular bodywork will all help.